Oakland – Nearly 200 people, representing 116 small businesses and 21 large businesses, attended the inaugural “Doing Business with the City of Oakland: Matchmaking” event at Oakland’s Main Library on 7/26. The focus of the evening was to facilitate connections between small and large businesses and inspire mutually beneficial potential partnerships.
“My Administration is committed to creating new jobs and opportunities for our residents. The success of this matchmaking event shows how we can work together to provide new pathways to success for businesses of all sizes," said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. "I want to thank our hardworking employees who put this together and the many businesses that participated. This is the first matchmaking event but it will not be the last.”
During the event, over 250 matchmaking sessions took place between businesses, with small businesses pitching their services to large businesses, and large businesses learning about new and diverse subcontractors.
“We are thrilled that so many businesses participated. The majority of businesses in attendance had never attended a business matchmaking event before,” said Emylene Aspilla, Director of Oakland’s Department of Workplace and Employment Standards. “This shows the need for the City of Oakland to step up and offer more events like this in the future.”
While this event focused on the City’s new $500 million 2023-2025 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) led by the Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) and Oakland Public Works (OPW), the event is part of a broader outreach plan, spearheaded by the City’s Department of Workplace and Employment Standards (DWES) to engage Oakland’s most underrepresented business communities and ensure they have access to City contracts and the small business technical assistance they need to be competitive, including capacity building resources overseen by the City’s Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD).
More outreach efforts like this one will be occurring in Oakland over the next several months to continue to promote access to City opportunities. Future outreach and matchmaking events will include a focus on housing, non-construction professional services, as well as goods and services purchases.
To find out about upcoming events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-238-7524.